13 December 2006

Spain, Italy and Romania against Kosovo independence

Serbian Press Agency SRNA, Bijeljina, 14-11-2006 08:35:28

BRUSSELS, November 14 (SRNA, BBC) - Diplomatic sources reprot that Britain and Belgium favor conditional independence for Kosovo and Metohija, while Spain, Italy and Romania are opposed to it.

After yesterday's report by Martti Ahtisaari to the EU foreign ministers it was leaked to the public that differences in opinion had emerged among the 25 members of the European Union regarding whether conditional independence or limited sovereignty is the right solution.

British foreign secretary Margaret Beckett reiterated at the meeting that London is advocating some form of independence, not quite full, for Kosovo, i.e. the same idea as Ahtisaari. Her views were fully supported by her Belgian counterpart, Karel de Gucht.

However, Spanish secretary of state (for European affairs) Alberto Navarro told reporters that Spain is against the proposal that Kosovo gain the right to self-determination or limited sovereignty, and emphasized that "there is no legal basis for this in the Serbian Constitution". He warned of dangerous consequences that an eventual proposal for some form of Kosovo independence might have for other regions in the world.

According to Navarro, the president of Republika Srpska is "already asking for the same rights of self-determination" for the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Romanian minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu warned that the independence of Kosovo would represent a violation of the Helsinki Act on the inviolability of borders in Europe, and Italian deputy foreign minister Famiano Crucianelli asked for conditional reinitiation of negotiations on the Agreement on Stabilization and Association with Serbia, which would help in "overcoming the shock of the possible independence of Kosovo".

According to the BBC, during yesterday's meeting Ahtisaari explained what he had done so far and his principal ideas regarding the status of Kosovo.

Dutch foreign minister Bernard Bot told reporters that Ahtisaari does not believe that a solution can be achieved through negotiations and that a solution will have to be imposed even though he claims that he will attempt to convince the Serbian and Albanian sides to bring their positions nearer to each other.